Mother And Child Opera in one act for: soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto two cellos and 4-hand-piano by Whyte & McClure Ron Whyte, librettist / Lee McClure, composer
Scenario: A young Italian mother, Angelina, confronts the birth of her baby who is born without hands or feet. She is shunned by her neighbors who say that her baby has “the evil eye”. In her subsequent stages of fear and guilt, she appeals to her statue of the Virgin Mary for guidance. After asking if she should “give her baby back”, she receives no answer. In hysterical anger she damages the statue and smashes rosary beads. When her baby quietly coughs, she sings her a lullaby and decides she wants her baby to live. During a moment of desolation, she experiences an epiphany of how to save her baby girl and finds the will to action.
Angelina (soprano) is accompanied by a Greek chorus (mezzo and alto) who take on the voices of Angelina, her doctor, and community members.
A longer scenario and complete libretto can be found in the score for Mother And Child.
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In 2013 Lee McClure produced and directed this film of the staged reading of Mother And Child that was videotaped on May 23,1990 at The Cathedral St. John The Divine (New York City). The film includes subtitles and duration of 48 minutes.
The May 23, 1990 performance was reviewed in the New York Times:
FILM CREDITS - Mother And Child Cast: Judi Silvano, soprano, role: Angelina Linda LoPresti, mezzo-soprano, role: Mother #2 (Greek chorus) Holly Durniak, contralto, role: Mother #3 (Greek chorus) Cynthia Izzo, role: babysitter (non-speaking), chorus member Artistic Staff: Bill Grossman, music director, conductor Stephen McCabe, stage director Liz Goodall, props designer Musicians: Mike Finkel, David Runnion – cellos Neil Swanson, Christopher Vassiliades – 4-hand-piano Audio/Video editing, titles, subtitles, montages, postproduction: Brian O’Neill Videography: Vernita Nemec, Tequila Minsky
Timeline: (duration: 48 minutes)
0:00 title credits 25:55 Now you are human 0:28 about the opera 27:10 Where is the sign? 1:15 How's the baby? 29:01 My poor baby 5:32 transition 31:16 Every baby is beautiful 7:14 When I was a girl 33:12 Why am I such a fool? 8:54 My husband 34:35 transition 11:33 Beautiful soul 35:16 Help! Call a priest 13;07 My baby has no legs 36:31 Her arms, her feet 14:36 She smiles 38:05 This is a sign 16:06 We are all Italian 40:22 I promise to love my baby 17:20 Even the men 44:27 Hail Mary full of grace 19:30 The doctor says 45:44 She looked down 22:03 You don't answer 46:30 end credits 24:09 You shall not